NMS-EECMY EXTERNAL MID-TERM EVALUATION OF WESTERN ETHIOPIA WOMEN EMPOWERNMENT PROGRAM (WEWEP)
Background: WEWEP was initiated in 2012 for a three year periode. The overall programme goal of WEWEP is - to empower the women of the programme area . This includes both the women in the congregations and parishes, their position in the concerned synods, and the women in general in the local communities of the respected Synod areas. The Programme is designed to empower the women through the following three components:• Strengthening the position of the women in the Synods by educating them and providing good systems and documents for gender equality.• Educating women in the Synods and in the local society by giving them knowledge about their rights and the consequences of HTPBs and HIV/AIDS.• Giving women in the local society access to income by organizing self-help groups and providing lectures on handicrafts. Purpose/objective: To evaluate the programme relevance in the programme areas. To identify the results, successes and limitations of the programme according to the indicators set out in the LFA in the programme document. To describe precisely divergence between plan and result so far (whether it is on the right way) To asses economic effectiveness in the program To asses other possibilities to enhance the program work in order to achieve the objective of the program To draw lessons and come up with recommendations for the future. Methodology: The evaluation focused on using qualitative approach to conduct the evaluation including focal group discussions, in-depth interviews and site observations in which a total of 450 respondents selected and participated from target beneficiaries, the Synods WEWEP management team, Synod WEWEP steering team, women department leaders from Parishes & congregations, government sector line office representatives and also WEWEP coordination office staff and WEWEP program managers from 11 project areas. Key findings: 1. Capability of Women departments and women empowerment process Through building the capacity of the women department, the program has establishedthe empowerment process which will institutionalize the process with sustainablepositive impact to realize the empowerment of women for Gender equality & Genderequity politically, socially and economically. 2. The functionality of Women department The women department at the synods, Parishes and congregations are functioning tosupport the pro poor women target by the project at selected congregations andparishes providing seed money to start Income generating activities for themselves as agroup or individually. The program is also providing gap filling and subject orientedtrainings and the trainees from parishes and congregations are also training the targetbeneficiaries to ensure the empowerment is happening at all levels. 3. Availability and usability of Gender policy and mainstreaming strategy Gender has been mainstreamed at all levels of WEWEPs implementation. The program also identified this gap and has developed a gender policy guide line recently and it is now at its final stage to be used for the interventions. 4. Formulation and implementation of Gender Monitoring and Evaluation system A challenge for WEWEP has been that there were no well-structured and definedmonitoring and evaluation system in the Synods before the intervention of the program.So the implementation so far has been a learning ground for WEWEP andthe Synods themselves and now WEWEP is developing program Monitoring andevaluation guideline to guide the progress update, address gaps, and identify keyempowerment potentials and document progress accordingly. 5. Increase Knowledge and understanding on HTPBs, FGM and HIV/AIDS Different trainings have been conducted for the school youth, girls and also training for target women beneficiaries. In addition to that trainings were provided for synod management members, women department leaders and line departments. The program also adopted and used different Information education communication materials from EECMY DASSC and other partners working for women empowerment. 6. Political, Social & Economic empowerment for target women The program is empowering its targets politically by increasing their involvement in decision making at all levels of the synods; socially by mobilizing the community for better awareness and economically it has created Income Generating system for the house holds of the target communities. We have seen people’s lives are transformed and developed. Recommendations: Based on the findings the evaluation has come with these recommendations• The program has to standardize the overall approaches used for implementing the activities to harmonize the change effort at all levels and has to develop guidelines to further strengthen the empowerment process in the target areas.• The Social mobilization system should be strategized and implemented.• The program has to work on partnership and networking with different actors involved in Gender development and women empowerment to share experiences, share resources and avoid duplication of efforts.• Advocacy for policy recommendations is one of the areas where WEWEP need to emphasize on to strengthen the collaboration with Government line offices and within the system of the EECMY itself.• The program should also consider planning to expand geographically and demographically to address more pro poor and vulnerable communities/women and impart the empowerment process in more congregations and parishes as it is now limited to few parishes and congregations of the synods. Comments from the organisation, if any: The recommendations have been considered and discussed when developing the new project document for the next project phase. Especially the need to continue institutionalize a good montiroring and evaluation system, and advocacy have been inlcuded in the draft for a new project phase. The evaluation was however partly too ambitious in its recommendations considering the resources available.